stinky river gear transportation

So I have a hyundai Hatchback. Last year I was boating 5-6 days a week on the river and the car smelt soo bad that no one ever wanted to sit in my car (this is after drying things out everyday!). I would store my clothes in a mesh bag. Till I got home (sometimes went to dinner etc). Anyways, starting the season off now and am doing 3-4 days a week and the stench is coming back!

Would getting a cargo box up on the roof and storing all the stuff in there solve the problem? Has anybody else had this problem? How do you deal with it? Thanks.


some options
I carry my gear in plastic totes, and one becomes a dedicated wet gear bin for the return trip. You can always clamp the lid down on it to hold the stink in the bin.

Better yet would be to rinse your gear with the anti-stink stuff (either the stuff you can get at REI, or something made for wet suits available at scuba shops) before putting in the bin, so you can fight off the stink rather than just sealing the smell away.

Bring lot of clean water and rinse as
as soon as you take your stuff off. Works great and costs nothing.

I always carabiner my shoes to my canoe/kayak hanging off the back of the van. Never had a problem with other things stinking. Maybe using the car as a clothes dryer isn’t a good idea! :wink:

As long as yer use…

– Last Updated: Mar-30-08 7:49 AM EST –

Toe an' Heel tiedowns.


Dry bag or screw lid bucket.
Put some soapy water in there and your stuff will be ‘laundered’ from road undulations by the time you get home.

Rinse and hang to dry.

hehe …
great responses. I am not sure the soapy water rinse thing wil happen everyday … too time consuming :wink:

some of the rivers I goto smell so bad that even sticking my one peice paddle in the car for a couple sun hours makes things stink up.

soap and water…
in a bucket DOES NOT get the river smell out of paddling shoes…I’ve tried it more than once! Maybe it will work on clothes…

White Vinegar
I keep a spray container of white vinegar in my truck that I use on my paddlin’ shoes- has always worked so far. I sometimes spray my duds, but not often.

I use a dry bag too.
I put all the soft stuff in their and take it home to dry it.

Devilsoninlaw, put some Tide in there
while you wear them for a while … then rinse.

Invert so every last drop comes out, them flip back over and angle so inside air can evaporate … preferably in bright direct sun.

Weather draining or drying, just set them up so the foot part is somewhere close to 45 degrees from level.

Try seven days a week
in the back of a pick-up truck with a cap on it .

Each morning when I open the back tail gate to get the gear out, I expect a large sea weed drapped hand to reach out and pull me in.

When we bring back all the floatsam goodies that we find in the off shore mangrove keys and put them in the back; the following morning there are usually a half dozen baby shrimp, crabs, and other assorted creatures begging for mercy.



If the water stinks that badly,
…I don’t paddle there. That’s like going bicycling in badly polluted air. Yuck.

Never let wet stuff touch your upholstery. Wring it out, then put it in a waterproof box (Rubbermaid, for example). Let it air out as much as possible before you get ready to go home. Close the lid tightly. When you get back, take the whole thing out and wash everything, including the inside of the box. Let it dry.

Then start all over. I haven’t had this problem, but then again I avoid opaque or stinky water, and there’s no upholstery in a truck bed. And I never let anything wet stay in there once I get home.

use the boat

I paddle almost every day in the summer
…and this is what works for me. It’s best to stop the stink before it happens.

  1. rinse stuff immediately in clean water. I keep a half-barrel in my car which I fill at the takeout if possible and dunk everything. Then I empty it and put my wet stuff in it for the trip home.
  2. spray everything with Febreeze or store brand equivalent. I like Shaw’s (Albertson’s) the best. Really soak insides of footwear, then drain excess. The McNett stuff is expensive and doesn’t work nearly as well.
  3. Get stuff completely dry as soon as possible. This is key.

    Use a Peet shoe dryer to dry footwear. Failing that, angle the footwear toes-down on a rack and aim a fan at the openings.

    Hang other clothing and gear overnight with at least one fan going. One on each end is more effective.
  4. Every month or so, treat everything except your paddle with 303 protectant. I buy it by the gallon from NRS. In addition to being an anti-oxidant and UV inhibitor, treated items seem less likely to stink.

Stop paddling in stinky rivers
and you won’t have stinky gear :+)